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Q: Do I have to pay GST when I purchase a home?GST New Housing Rebate Program

You may be eligible to claim a rebate for a part of the GST you pay on the purchase price or cost of building your home if:
You buy a new or substantially renovated home (including the land or if you lease the land) from a builder;
You buy a new mobile home (including a modular home) or a floating home from a builder or vendor;
You buy a share of capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation;
You construct or substantially renovate your own home, or carry out a major addition (or hire another person to do so); or
Your home is destroyed in a fire and is subsequently rebuilt.

Resale homes are exempt from GST.
New homes are subject to GST. New home buyers can apply for a 2.52 % rebate of the GST applicable to the purchase price to a maximum of $8,750 for homes costing less than $350,000 before GST.
For new homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000 before GST, the GST rebate would be reduced proportionately.
New homes priced $450,000 before GST or higher would not receive a rebate.
NOTE: In the Greater Toronto Area, most builders include the GST in the price of the house, and any rebate would be assignable to the builder as they would be absorbing the net GST cost.



Q: Can I use my RRSP's for purchasing a Home?

A: The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program under which you can, generally, withdraw up to $20,000 from your Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home. Withdrawals that meet all applicable HBP conditions do not have to be included in your income, and your RRSP issuer will not withhold tax on these amounts. However, before you can withdraw funds you must have entered into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home which you must occupy no later than one year after buying or building the home.

If you buy the qualifying home together with your spouse or other individuals, each of you can withdraw up to $20,000. You cannot withdraw an amount from your RRSP under the
HBP if you or your spouse owned the home more than 30 days before the date of your withdrawal.

Up to $20,000 per person could be withdrawn tax-free from RRSPs to buy or build a principal residence. Couples -- including common-law -- will be able to withdraw up to $40,000.
You have to meet the
first-time buyer's condition. You are not considered a first-time home buyer if you or your spouse owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence in the past 5 years. To determine past 5 years, the 4 years preceding the year you make your withdrawal plus the period in the year you make your withdrawal ending 31 days before your withdrawal is the rule adopted.
Home buyers withdrawing funds do not have to pay income tax on the amount withdrawn, as long as the funds are repaid into an RRSP in the future.
The 15-year repayment period will begin in the second calendar year following the calendar year in which the withdrawal is made. In addition, a qualifying home must generally be acquired before October 1 of the calendar year following the year of withdrawal. For example, those making withdrawals under the plan in 2000 will have until October 1, 2001 to acquire a qualifying home and their first annual repayment will be due by the end of 2002 or the first two months of 2003.
A special rule denies a tax deduction for contributions to an RRSP that are withdrawn within 90 days of the RRSP deposit being made. Consequently, to get the normal tax break for a contribution and to use those funds under the plan, the money must be in your RRSP for at least 90 days before a withdrawal is made.

You can participate in the HBP more than once if:
Your HBP balance for your previous participation is zero on January 1 of the year you want your new participation in the HBP to occur; and
You meet the first-time buyer's condition and all other HBP conditions that apply to your situation.

Existing homeowners can use the HBP to purchase a more accessible home or a home for a disabled dependent relative where the individual withdrawing the funds:
Qualifies for the disability tax credit (DTC) and is buying a home that is more accessible for the individual or is better suited for the care of the individual;
Is related to a disabled individual who qualifies for the DTC and is buying a home for the benefit of the disabled individual that is more accessible for, or better suited for, the care of the disabled individual, or;
Is related to a disabled individual who qualifies for the DTC and is withdrawing an amount for the disabled individual to buy a home that is more accessible for, or better suited for, the care of the disabled individual.
For more information call 1-800-959-8281 or visit Revenue Canada's web site




You must be a first time home buyer or you must not have owned a home in the last five (5) years. Provided you satisfy all requirements, you may re-activate the program.

You must use the home as your principal residence in Canada .

The home can be new from the builder or resale.

R.R.S.P. funds must have been on deposit for at least 90 days before they can be used under the program.

The funds can be applied to the down payment, land transfer tax, legal fees and disbursements, improvements to the home, even furniture and appliances.

You can borrow up to a maximum of $20,000.00 from your RRSP. tax free. The maximum for two spouses is $40,000.00.

After an initial grace period of two full calendar years (plus the balance of the year in which the withdrawal occurred) you are required to pay back the funds borrowed over a period of 15 years by depositing 1/15th of the amount withdrawn, annually to your RRSP. Prepayments are allowed at any time without penalty. However, if you miss a payment for any given year, you will not be allowed to pay it back and it will be included in your taxable income for that year.  


Q: What is Current Value Assessment (CVA)?

A: In 1998, the Province of Ontario reformed the property assessment legislation in Ontario with the implementation of Current Value Assessment (CVA). Under this new assessment system, all property assessments in Ontario are updated on a regular basis.

The CVA of a property represents an estimated market value, or the amount that the property would sell for in an open market, arm's length sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer at a fixed point in time.

For the 1998 to 2000 taxation years, property assessments were based on a June 30, 1996 valuation date. For the 2001 and 2002 taxation years, property assessments in Ontario were updated to reflect current values as at June 30, 1999. For the 2003 year, property assessments were updated to reflect current values as of June 30, 2001 valuation date. For 2004, property assessments were based on the June 30, 2003 valuation date.

Q: When will the next reassessment occur?

A: The 2006 and 2007 assessment updates of properties in Ontario were cancelled. As a result, assessments continue to be based on current value as of January 1, 2005. Municipalities are using the January 1, 2005 values to calculate property taxes for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Education tax rates, which are set by the Provincial Government, are also being applied to the January 1, 2005 assessed value.

The chart below illustrates the province-wide assessment update cycle since 1997.



Update Year

Taxation Year(s)

Valuation Date


1998, 1999, 2000

June 30, 1996


2001, 2002

June 30, 1999



June 30, 2001


2004, 2005

June 30, 2003


2006, 2007, 2008*

January 1, 2005


Q: Who determines the assessed value (i.e. CVA) of my property?

A: The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is a not for profit corporation responsible for determining the CVA and tax class for all properties in Ontario for municipal and education taxation.

In November 2003 MPAC mailed notices of assessment to all Toronto property owners advising them of their new CVA based on a June 30, 2003 valuation date.

Q: What do I do if I disagree with the CVA for my property?

A: If you do not agree with your assessment:
1. Contact MPAC  Toll Free number: 1 866 296-MPAC (6722), Access for the Deaf, or Hard of Hearing is available by calling, 1 877 TTY-MPAC or through the Bell Relay service. You may also fax at: 1 866 297-6703 or send an e-mail at:  Please have your 19-digit roll number available when you call.

2. Ask MPAC to review your assessment

If you feel your assessed value or classification is not correct, MPAC will review it free of charge. You may request a review any time before December 31, 2008.

There are three ways to request a MPAC review:

Complete a Request for Reconsideration form. Forms are available at
Call us toll-free at 1 866 296-MPAC (6722) to request a form. Write a letter requesting a review. In your letter, please include:
the 19-digit roll number on your Notice, your full name, address and phone number; and the reasons why you feel your assessment is not correct, including any information you have to support your claim. If you feel that your property has been valued incorrectly you can have your assessment reviewed by MPAC by filing a 'Request for Reconsideration'. There is no fee for this request and the deadline to apply for the 2005 taxation year is December 31, 2005. You can visit the MPAC website at to obtain a Request for Reconsideration form.

If your Request for Reconsideration is successful, MPAC will forward the results directly to the City in order to expedite processing of any tax adjustment.

If other information on your Notice of Assessment is inaccurate, such as the assessed owner, location or property description, etc. you may contact MPAC at 1-866-296-6722 (toll free) to verify details about your property.

Property owners also have the option of filing a formal appeal with the Assessment Review Board (ARB). The fee for this appeal is $50 for residential properties and $125 for commercial properties. The deadline to file an appeal with the ARB is March 31, 2005. Applications are available by contacting the ARB at 416-314-6900 or by visiting their website at

3. File a Notice of Complaint

You may file a Notice of Complaint with the Assessment Review Board (ARB), an independent tribunal of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. Specific application forms and fees are involved, and you will have to appear at a hearing to support your argument. MPAC will also appear at the hearing. A complaint must be filed before March 31, 2008, even if you have already requested a review from MPAC.

For more information, contact the ARB toll-free at 1 800 263-3237 or 416 314-6900 or visit

Q: What is the difference between the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the consumer website

A: The Multiple Listing Service is a cooperative system used only by REALTOR Members of Canada's real estate boards. It is accessible to any REALTOR Member who has agreed to represent your interests and share remuneration from the transaction with a cooperating REALTOR Member. The MLS contains detailed information and numerous search tools, all designed to match people with the properties that fit their exact requirements. is a website operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that displays an abbreviated version of most listings uploaded to the MLS system.

Q: What should we do to prepare our home for the Fall Season?

A: Don't "Fall" into the Season Without Preparing Your Home! Proper maintenance of your home and garden will help preserve your investment. And best of all, keeping your house in tip-top shape this fall will prevent any unnecessary chores in the spring.
Outdoor Projects

- Complete exterior painting before cooler weather arrives

- Check and repair exterior lighting before daylight fades

- Store lawn ornaments and patio furniture in a shed or basement. If space is limited, weather-resistant covers can protect outdoor furnishings

- Cover air conditioner and barbecue to prevent winter damage

- Close your pool before leaves start to fall, and nighttime temperatures begin to drop

- Till and prepare planting beds when the soil is relatively dry. By adding soil and mulch to your beds, you'll be a step ahead for spring planting

- Plant spring blooming bulbs and perennials

- Protect roses, saplings and small trees by sheltering them with a burlap screen

- Pull weeds to reduce the number of seedlings next spring

- Mow grass short for the final cut of the year by reducing the cutting height gradually to 3.5 cm (from 7.4 cm) until the grass stops growing

Indoor Preparation

- Bring container plants indoors, making sure they are free of pests. Doing so may enable plants to survive the season and bloom again in spring

- Check and clean your humidifier. Empty the tank, dry the inside surfaces and refill with clean water. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Q: Did change names 
A: Yes has moved and has become


ON October 2, 2008 --the website is now As a result of two years of study and re-design, the site has evolved into a portal providing consumer access to all of the public web sites operated on behalf of REALTORS®.

The re-branding of the website was recommended by a task force of The Canadian Real Estate Association, and approved by the membership at the CREA Fall Assembly in 2007. While the site is re-branded, the old address – - will not disappear. CREA will maintain ownership of the old URL, and consumers using it or referring to bookmarks will be automatically re-directed to the new site.

“CREA certainly recognize the marketing importance of the existing web site” says CREA President Calvin Lindberg.“We want to make sure the changes are not detrimental to the fact the existing is a popular real estate web site in Canada.”
According to Comscore, an independent internet use auditing company, there were an average of almost 3 million unique visitors a month on the existing site throughout 2007.

Some new features were also added to when it launched on October 2nd. All of the existing features from moved, but interactive mapping wsa introduced with the launch of the new site. The interactive mapping technology is provided using Microsoft Virtual Earth technology, and includes both mapping and “true view”. Visitors can search for properties using the existing detailed Advance Search, a new “Quick Search”, or by using the interactive mapping to select the specific area or neighbourhood their interested in.




We work closely with many Banks in Canada, financial planners and various home services companies in the area.

Looking for a home and not just a house, we have the answers. As your professional consultant, we will focus on obtaining you the best rates and features possible for your mortgage.

We can help you if: You want to get the lowest rate possible and save money ,if you want to buy a home and don't know where to start , if you have been turned down by your bank, self-employed and not sure if you qualify, if you have had credit problems in the past , or even i you are a first time buyer and want expert advice.


Our calculators will help you determine loan amounts, mortgage qualification, affordability or whether you should be renting or buying.

Complete the fields below and click Calculate Now. To view the results of each calculation, click on the various tabs.  To email yourself a copy of the results, click the Receive this Detailed Analysis link.

How Much Can Your Afford?  Should You Refinance?
is the process that pays the existing mortgage and/or any other legal claims against the property and sets-up a completely new mortgage(s). Today, you can refinance your home up to 90% of its present value. There are many reasons as to why you should consider refinancing your mortgage:

Consolidate debts: If your monthly bills have gotten out of control, you might be able to refinance your home and pay them off. The advantage of doing this is to lower your total monthly payments. You should have a mortgage specialist review your situation and make a recommendation.

Refinance a First & Second Mortgage into a new First: If you have two mortgages on the same property, you can combine them into a new first mortgage, as long as the total amount does not exceed 90% of the value of the property. If the new mortgage is over 75% (80% is possible) of the value of the property, normal CMHC/GE Capital premiums and guidelines apply, and one thing to remember here is that only outstanding amounts can be combined - any discharge penalties and costs must be paid separately at closing.

Financing a Renovation: If you are doing major renovations (spending over $15,000), it could be less painful monthly with a mortgage as opposed to a loan or line of credit.

Financing the purchase of other investments: You can use the equity in your home to finance the purchase of investments, and also benefit from the lower carrying costs of a secured line of credit or mortgage and also write-off the interest costs against the taxable incomes.

Financing the purchase of investment property: If you have the equity and have a desire to be a landlord, you could take equity out of your property by refinancing the mortgage to use towards the purchase of an investment property. This is also called leveraging of your assets.

Financing children's education: The best thing we can do for our children is be good role models to them, teach them to be responsible citizens, and give them a good base with a good education. With the high cost of many things nowadays, as well as education, it is sometimes difficult to have that kind of money in the bank, but you many have it in the form of equity in your home. Education is something they will never lose on.

Closing Costs related to Refinancing: The regular costs related to the refinancing process are:

  • appraisal ($150-$250),
  • legal fees & disbursements ($700-$1000),
  • title insurance if survey not available ($225),
  • CMHC/GE Capital Premium is mortgage is high-ratio (this cost can be added to mortgage),
  • PST when CMHC/GE Capital premium is required, and any discharge penalties.

You should review your mortgage on a regular basis and keep up with new products and offers that are available - they may save you a bundle. When you break your mortgage contract to renew your mortgage at a new rate and a new term, you are faced with a prepayment charge to reimburse your financial institution for the lost interest income. Typically, this prepayment charge is based on the greater amount of either 3 months interest or the interest rate differential (IRD). If your mortgage was insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (C.M.H.C.), a maximum penalty of three months interest can be charged only, after the third anniversary of the interest adjustment period or after the third anniversary date from your last renewal.



To Learn More About Purchasing a Home go to our BUYER'S GUIDE

To Learn More About Your Credit Score and How To Repair Bad Credit      

Our calculators will help you determine loan amounts, mortgage qualification, affordability or whether you should be renting or buying.

Complete the fields below and click Calculate Now. To view the results of each calculation, click on the various tabs.  To email yourself a copy of the results, click the Receive this Detailed Analysis link.

Mortgage Calculator        

Required Fields
Term In Years:     
Interest Rate:      %
Cost of Home:  $
Down Payment:  $  
Annual Insurance:  $  
Estimate Insurance to 0.43% of Cost
Annual Property Tax:  $  
Estimate Tax to 1.2% of Cost
Monthly Income:  $
Monthly Debt:  $
Optional Fields
Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS):     
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS):     
Condos Fees:  $
  Receive this Detailed Analysis

Your Monthly Payments
Loan Amount:
Loan Insurance (%):
Total Loan (Mortgage) Amount:
Principal & Interest:
Homeowners Insurance:
Property Taxes:
Condo Fees:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Total Monthly Payment:
Income Needed to Qualify for the Mortgage
Total Monthly Loan Payment:
Total Monthly Debt Payment:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Qualifying Income of % GDS Ratio:
Qualifying Income of % TDS Ratio:
What You Can Afford
We are using the % ratio.
Cost of House:
Down Payment:
Loan Value:
Monthly Principal & Interest:
Monthly Insurance:
Monthly Property Tax:
Monthly Condo Fees:
Cost of House = [(Monthly income x Debt Ratio) – monthly tax – monthly insurance – condo fee] /
(monthly interest rate/ function of interest rate)
Monthly Rent: $
Annual Rental Increases:  %
Monthly Renter Insurance: $
Savings or Investment Rate:  %
Planned # of years in home: 
Yearly appreciation of the home:  %
Annual home maintenance:  %


Car Allowance A car allowance can be considered as income if it is a “perk” of the job and a car is not needed to perform the job. Where a borrower must use a car to perform their job function, the car allowance cannot be used for mortgage servicing because it would then be a reimbursement of employment expenses rather than additional income. Car allowance must be "taxable income" if using as additional income for CMHC guidelines.

Insured – Genworth: Will consider car allowance to offset car lease payments provided is it is taxable benefit, the applicant has been receiving it for minimum of one year and it is likely to continue

Alimony / Support Payments Alimony and / or support payments can be used as qualifying income as long as satisfactory proof is obtained to confirm the payments have been made regularly for at least three years and a copy of the agreement outlining the terms of the support payment confirms the income will remain regular for at least five years into the future. - Firstline on a "case by case" basis will consider 100% of child support payments.

When Alimony \ Support payments are being paid by the applicant: - as per CMHC's guidelines forms required are separation agreement and also the paystub showing deductions for alimony payments.  If these documents can be obtained, both child and spousal support can be deducted from gross income prior to calculating GDS/TDS.

Child Assistance/Child Tax Benefit Income If the applicant's child is 12 or younger, the child assistance/child tax benefit income can be used for qualification purposes. Verify the child's age, the payment amount and the duration of the payment by obtaining one of the following documents:
• The Canada Child Tax Benefit annual notice; or • the Quebec child assistance annual statement.

Universal Child Care Benefit Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) income may be used as a source of income for borrower’s qualification purposes for insured mortgages. However, considering this income is only available until the age of six. Income must be verified.

Parental (maternity) Leave Receipt of an employment letter confirming the following:

  • Employment letter stating position, income and anticipated return date
  • 100% of the income can be used as long as the parental leave does not exceed one (1) year.  Income cannot be used if the applicant does not return to work or parental leave exceeds one (1) year.


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